Breast feeding week 2019: Theme, Significance and Objectives and Policies

World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated annually from 1 to 7 August all over the globe. The theme of this year’s 2019 World Breastfeeding Week is “Empower Parents, Enable Breastfeeding”.

Breast feeding week 2019: Theme, Significance and Objectives and Policies
Significance of Breastfeeding Week

Every year, the world breastfeeding week is observed from August 1 to August 7. The whole first week of August is aimed at the need to spread the awareness to improve the health of babies all over the globe as mother’s milk is a boon for the baby.

This week is celebrated every year to create alertness about the significance of breastfeeding and how it is compulsory for the overall growth and development of a baby.

World Breastfeeding Week 2019 Theme

The theme of this year’s 2019 World Breastfeeding Week is “Empower Parents, Enable Breastfeeding”.

Origin of World Breastfeeding Week:

World Breastfeeding Week traces its origins back to the Innocenti Declaration that was signed in August 1990 by government policymakers, WHO, UNICEF and other organizations to protect, promote and support breastfeeding. The whole week (August 1 to August 7) celebrates the declaration and its agendas.

Read More - World Breastfeeding Week - 2019

Why is breastfeeding important?

Let’s start with understanding how breastfeeding impacts the health of infants. Primarily, breast milk contains antibodies that help the baby fight off viruses and bacteria. Breastfeeding also lowers the risk of asthma or allergies in babies.

Significance of Breastfeeding Week

As the mother’s mill can protect the baby from several diseases and infection. The included organizations will promote the importance of family friends policies to promote breastfeeding and will also encourage parents to develop a bond with their children during the initial years.

Not only this, but breastfeeding can also help in the betterment of a mother’s health. It will reduce the risk of developing breast cancer, ovarian cancer, type-2 diabetes, and heart diseases. Also, it is said that breastfeeding can prevent 20,000 maternal deaths every year due to breast cancer.

Breastfeeding policies suggested by WHO this year:

1) Paid maternity leave: WHO aims to stress upon enacting paid maternity leaves of at least 18 weeks.

2) Paid paternity leave: This to encourage shared responsibility of taking care of children on an equal basis.

3) Parent-friendly workplace: Through this, WHO wishes to highlight the importance of a parent-friendly workplace to encourage mothers to breastfeed. WHO proposes access to breastfeeding breaks and providing mothers with a safe, private and hygienic space for expressing and storing breast milk. It will also focus on providing affordable childcare.

Read More - Breastfeeding at Work : Recommendations and laws in India

The objective of this year’s Breast Feeding Week 2019:

As per World Health Organisation, “This year, WHO is working with UNICEF and partners to promote the importance of family-friendly policies to enable breastfeeding and help parents nurture and bond with their children in early life, when it matters most."

Apart from this, WHO is also working towards improving society’s approach towards breastfeeding and maternity.

According to WHO, breastfeeding promotes better health for mothers and children alike. Increasing breastfeeding to near-universal levels can help save over 800 000 lives every year, the majority being children under 6 months.

WHO also recommends exclusive breastfeeding starting within one hour after birth until a baby is 6 months old. Nutritious complementary foods should then be added while continuing to breastfeed for up to two years or beyond.